The United States will send its athletes but no diplomatic representative to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, the White House announced on Monday (December 6) despite Chinese warnings. By being present, “The American diplomatic representation would treat these Games as if nothing had happened, despite the gross human rights violations and China’s atrocities in Xinjiang. And we just can’t do that ”, justified the spokesperson for the White House, Jen Psaki.
For months, the US government had been looking for the best way to position itself with regard to the Winter Games, a popular and global event organized from February 4 to 20, 2022 by a country it accuses of perpetrating a “Genocide” against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. Several human rights organizations accuse Beijing of interning at least one million Muslims in Xinjiang in “Re-education camps”.
Chinese authorities systematically denounce “Interference” Westerners who condemn this situation, assuring that it is about “Vocational training centers” to support employment and combat religious extremism.
“A purely political decision”
With this boycott, no representative of the United States government will attend the Olympics or Paralympics, but American athletes will compete well. “The athletes of Team USA have our full support. We will be 100% behind them while we cheer them on from here ”, said Jen Psaki.
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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is delighted that the boycott of Washington does not call into question the participation of American athletes. “The presence of government officials and diplomats is a purely political decision for each government, which the IOC, in its political neutrality, fully respects”, said a spokesperson for the Olympic body.
The US State Department said diplomatic staff would be present in Beijing “To assure our athletes, coaches, and those associated with the US Olympic team that they are safe”. Which represents “A different subject from official diplomatic representation”, according to spokesperson Ned Price.
“This has no impact on the success of # Beijing2022”
China had warned earlier on Monday that it would take “Firm countermeasures” if the United States called for such a boycott, calling it “Swagger”. On the night of Monday to Tuesday, Liu Pengyu, spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in the United States, said politicians calling for a boycott of the Games were doing so. “For their own interests and political postures”.
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“In fact, no one would care whether these people come or not, and it has no impact on the success of # Beijing2022”, he wrote on Twitter. “Frankly, the Chinese are relieved to hear the news, because the fewer American officials there are, the fewer viruses there will be”, tweeted the Chinese state tabloid Global Times.